The Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research

, Volume 42, Issue 3, pp 383–394

Differential Contributions of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Manifestations to Psychological Symptoms


    • College of NursingEast Tennessee State University
  • Beth A. Bailey
    • Department of Family MedicineEast Tennessee State University
  • Stacey L. Williams
    • Department of PsychologyEast Tennessee State University
  • Sheeba Anand
    • Internal Medicine Residency ProgramEast Tennessee State University
  • Nancy E. Reame
    • School of NursingColumbia University

DOI: 10.1007/s11414-013-9382-7

Cite this article as:
McCook, J.G., Bailey, B.A., Williams, S.L. et al. J Behav Health Serv Res (2015) 42: 383. doi:10.1007/s11414-013-9382-7


The purpose of this study was to investigate the relative contributions of previously identified Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) manifestations (infertility, hirsutism, obesity, menstrual problems) to multiple psychological symptoms. Participants were 126 female endocrinology patient volunteers diagnosed with PCOS who completed a cross-sectional study of PCOS manifestations and psychological symptoms. Participants had significantly elevated scores on nine subscales of psychological symptoms. Menstrual problems were significantly associated with all symptom subscales as well as the global indicator, while hirsutism and obesity were significantly related to five or more subscales. After controlling for demographic factors, menstrual problems were the strongest predictor of psychological symptoms. Findings suggest features of excess body hair, obesity, and menstrual abnormalities carry unique risks for adverse psychologic symptoms, but menstrual problems may be the most salient of these features and deserve particular attention as a marker for psychological risk among women with PCOS.

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© National Council for Behavioral Health 2014